Brazil’s Vale won’t be ‘active’ player in CSA sale process

Rogerio Jelmayer – Fox Business/Dow Jones Newswires, 05/03/2013

Brazilian mining giant Vale SA (VALE, VALE5.BR) won’t play an “active” role in the change of ownership at Companhia Siderurgica do Atlantico, a loss-making steel mill in Rio de Janeiro state, and is only interested in maintaining its existing supply contracts with the mill.

“Vale just wants to maintain the rights that are assured by the contracts. We don’t envisage being active players in the process,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Vale owns a 26.87% stake in Companhia Siderurgica do Atlantico, a EUR5.2 billion joint venture with German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG (TYEKY, TKA.XE), which put its stake in the steelmaker up for sale after losing billions of dollars on the projects in recent years.

Brazil launches 4G wireless service with few smartphone options

Sergio Spagnuolo – Reuters/Yahoo News, 04/17/2013

As Brazil rushes to introduce a blazing-fast fourth-generation wireless network before the 2014 World Cup, fewer than a dozen compatible smartphones will be available in stores, compared with the hundreds of models on sale worldwide.

And the phones will be operational in a just few cities at first.

The launch of 4G services is crucial for Brazil to modernize its thinly stretched telecommunications infrastructure and ease the burden on 3G networks, which currently support over 68 million data users, according to regulator Anatel.

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Brazilian meat packers face fines

The Miami Herald/AP, 04/16/2013

Federal prosecutors in Brazil want 26 meat packing companies to pay fines of more than $200 million for buying cattle raised illegally.

The federal prosecutors’ office says in a statement that prosecutors in the Amazon jungle states of Amazonas, Mato Grosso and Rondonia, want the companies to pay 557 million reals ($278.5 million) for producing beef products from cattle raised in environmentally sensitive regions, on indigenous reservations and at farms that have been blacklisted for using slave-like labor.

It said that during the first nine months of 2012, the 26 companies bought and slaughtered almost 56,000 heads of cattle raised illegally.

Entrepreneurship in Brazil: unlimited potential

Andrew Zacharakis – Forbes, 4/10/2013

I’m fortunate to have traveled to Brazil a couple of times a year for the last decade.  The country is amazing; the physical beauty of the Amazon, the luxurious beaches of Rio, the splendor of Carnival and the warmth and joy of its people.  During my trips, I’ve seen an incredible transformation.  The country has enjoyed tremendous economic progress over the last 20 years thanks to the reforms of Presidents Cardoso, Lula and Dilma, although there is still plenty of need for additional reforms.  Within this dynamic environment, I’ve had the opportunity to witness entrepreneurship first hand, working with Endeavor (a non-profit that transforms economies by working with high-impact entrepreneurs), SEBRAE (Brazilian Micro-Enterprise and Small Business Support Service – a quasi-government agency similar to our Small Business Administration), and my academic colleagues from leading universities like FGV and Insper amongst others.

Brazil is entrepreneurial.  One in six adults is either trying to launch a business or is the owner of a new venture less than 42 months old and another one in six is running a more established venture.  That 30% of the population is quite a bit higher than the 22% here in the US. During my work in Brazil, I’ve noticed a few things that make the entrepreneurial environment particularly exciting and some obstacles that are holding back this powerful engine.

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Brazil e-commerce grosses more than $11 billion in 2012

The Economic Times, 03/20/2013

Online commerce in Brazil last year grossed 22.5 billion reais (around $11.5 billion), up 20 per cent over the previous year, the market research firm e-bit said Wednesday.

According to a study e-bit conducted with the Brazilian Chamber of Electronic Commerce, Brazil added 10.3 new million electronic consumers, bringing to 42.2 million the number of people who made at least one online purchase last year.

This year, e-bit anticipates a 25 per cent increase in revenue from online sales, thanks in part to the soccer Confederations Cup in June and next year’s World Cup, which will boost sales of big-screen television sets.

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Latam Airlines to continue reducing Brazil capacity in 2013

Graciela Ibanez and Paulo Winterstein – Fox Business/Dow Jones Newswires, 03/20/2013

Chilean holding company Latam Airlines Group SA (LFL, LAN.SN) this year will continue reducing the passenger capacity of its Brazilian domestic operations, Chief Financial Officer Alejandro De la Fuente said Wednesday.

Brazil’s poor economic performance took a toll on passenger demand as gross domestic product last year expanded at its slowest pace since 2009, coupled with rising fuel costs and taxes.

For 2013, economists reduced their growth expectations recently amid continued inflationary pressures.

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Olympics, World Cup spur Brazilian hotel boom

Barbara DeLollis – USA Today, 03/20/2013

If you’re planning a trip to Brazil to stroll the white sandy beaches, conduct business meetings or attend next year’s World Cup matches, chances are you’ll be able to stay in a new hotel.

And you won’t have to spend a fortune.

Brazil’s in the midst of a hotel building boom that promises to deliver thousands of newly built, moderately priced hotel rooms.

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